Thursday, 6 February 2014

Out Of A Clear Sky



Knowing ceramic glazes is just like knowing people. I guess that you have a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a wife or a husband or somebody else in your life that you think you know really well. You may live with this person for twenty years and you may be acquainted with all his or her habits, affections, moods and dreams. And then one day, out of nowhere, the person you know so well does something you didn’t expect. When this happens, you might be nicely surprised or you may lose the grounding, you might even be disappointed or frustrated. 

That is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. I made a lot of pots with anthracite clay body which I use regularly. I like to glaze these pots with a green glaze because the combination is just great. Also, this glaze needs some darker underground to come to its full beauty. As you might know, the background plays a significant role for the final look of the glaze. You can achieve different results if you use the same glaze on different clay bodies. This particular green glaze looks too undefined and too swampy if it is glazed on white clay or porcelain. This is the reason I use it only for the red and anthracite clay. 

The combination of a grey clay and a green glaze worked great for a decade. And then one day, out of a clear sky (and few weeks before my exhibition!) I was shocked to get this:



I still cannot explain what happened. I applied the glaze as thick as always. I fired the kiln at the same temperature as always. I was speechless: this is the glaze I thought to know so well. This is the glaze that never had let me down. So all I can say is that I will never again take my glazes for granted. I guess I should do the same with people around me….



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